An overview for female small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on female small business owners. Women tend to work in service industries directly impacted by shutdowns. They have disproportionately considered closing the doors to their businesses. Some female business owners may not be aware of the options offered to them through the Small Business Administration.

Women have also taken on the majority of child-rearing responsibilities. In an era of remote schooling, women are often choosing to stay home.

Furthermore, according to a recent National Bureau of Economic Research survey, women are less likely than men to be able to telecommute. According to data from the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer women are back to work than men since the pandemic led to the first major shutdowns in March. Entrepreneurial women across the United States need funds to stay afloat.  

So, if you are a female small business owner, what are your options?

Paycheck protection program (PPP)

Part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this program is designed to provide small business owners with funds to pay for their employees, rent, utilities, and other included expenses. While it is no longer accepting applications as of August, Biden may re-open funding when he assumes office on January 20th.

For more information on where the money has gone so far, you can visit this CNN tracker.

It’s worth noting that Biden proposes half of all new PPP funds be reserved for small businesses with 50 employees or less. This would be a change from Trump administration policy and potentially prove more beneficial to women and minority business owners.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)

Unlike PPP loans, which permit up to $10 million borrowed dollars, EIDLs only allow $2 million of credit. However, applications for EIDLs are still open, and both options are worth exploring.

Express Bridge Loans

This option can be used for someone waiting to hear back about an EIDL. However, it requires a prior relationship with a Small Business Administration express lender.

Debt Relief

This option applies to small businesses in need of relief from prior debt, not associated with the PPP or EIDL.

For more information on how these loans work and how to apply, you can visit the SBA website. As vaccine distribution begins, it’s important to remember that this battle is far from over. Resources like the Small Business Administration will continue to provide relief to entrepreneurs facing difficult decisions.

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